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Energy firms bet on hydrogen boom, but payday far away

Energy firms bet on hydrogen boom, but payday far away

(Reuters) – Governments and energy companies are placing large bets on clean hydrogen playing a leading role in efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but its future uses and costs are highly uncertain. FILE PHOTO: A Shell hydrogen station for hydrogen fuel cell cars is seen in Torrance, California September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson//File Photo

“Without hydrogen by 2050 we cannot aim to be a net zero (carbon) economy,” Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told the CERAWeek online conference this week.

The universe’s most abundant element, hydrogen has been touted for decades as an alternative to fossil fuels, but attempts to commercialise it for use in vehicles and industry have largely failed.

So far, commercial-scale production has been from natural gas or coal and it is a niche market used mainly in oil refining and heavy industry. read more

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